Two Million Evangelizers World Wide!
While Jehovah’s Christian witnesses in the United States have had their finest year in the evangelizing work, with 81,588 being baptized, the evangelizing work world wide is a fitting subject for the conclusion to this true-life story of modern times. Their unity and oneness of mind, and the fact that they have shared together in this great preaching work, have been a joy to every Christian witness of Jehovah. Today 2,021,432 Christian witnesses of Jehovah are declaring the good news. They follow Jesus’ admonition: “Be witnesses of me . . . to the most distant part of the earth.”—Acts 1:8.
Not only have Jehovah’s witnesses preached the good news of the Kingdom, but they have been teaching too, regularly conducting 1,351,404 Bible studies, on an average, with individuals who have shown interest in what the Bible says. Usually, by the time that Jehovah’s witnesses study with families for about six months, those who are truly interested in this Bible educational work begin attending congregational meetings, and soon they too share in giving the Kingdom witness.
In but twelve months’ time 297,872 individuals progressed to the point where they saw the importance of being disciples, walking in the footsteps of Christ Jesus, and they symbolized their dedication to Jehovah God by water baptism. What a great crowd of lovers of righteousness that is! The year 1974 was truly an outstanding one in making disciples of Jesus. Just think—nearly 104,000 more persons were baptized than in the previous year.
The Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society has 96 branch offices world wide and through this branch organization the Society directs the preaching of the good news in 207 lands. According to the reports received, 371,132,570 hours were devoted to the preaching work, much of it from house to house distributing literature, also in making 151,171,555 return visits on interested people and in conducting home Bible studies.
Jehovah’s witnesses offer people printed sermons, Bible literature, to assist them to learn the truth. This past year they placed 27,581,852 bound books and 12,409,287 booklets in the homes of the people. The magazines, The Watchtower and Awake!, play a very important part, too, in helping people to get an understanding of God’s Word, and these are distributed from house to house and on the streets. Jehovah’s witnesses in this manner placed 273,238,018 magazines. In addition, yearly subscriptions were taken for these magazines to the number of 2,387,904.
This grand work of preaching the good news was carried on not only in 196 lands where there is freedom to preach, but also in eleven countries where the work of Jehovah’s witnesses is banned by the governments. There was a fine increase of 8.7 percent in total publishers sharing in the Kingdom proclamation in these eleven countries. In fact, there were 172,253 persons who, under great difficulties and through careful maneuvering, were able to preach about God’s kingdom to millions of people. They spent 18,281,976 hours doing it, most of it underground. Before the year ended, 16,200 individuals in these lands were baptized, and they too are now engaging in the evangelizing work with their brothers and sisters world wide.
There are at this time 34,576 congregations of Jehovah’s witnesses. Associated with these congregations and in isolated areas, there are many individuals who are preaching and teaching full time, such as 1,102 missionaries and 13,629 special pioneers who spent 150 hours each month going from house to house and conducting home Bible studies. Serving the congregations as special appointed ministers are 1,780 circuit overseers and 197 district overseers. All of these 16,708 evangelizers are assisted with their rooming accommodations, meals, travel and clothing expenses. In the service year 1974 the Society spent $8,812,245.60 to help these full-time workers to carry on in their work.
In addition to these expenditures, there were expenses for the upkeep of the Bethel homes, where there are 3,307 persons who work in offices, kitchens, laundries, housekeeping and in the manufacturing of literature—all to further the preaching of the good news.
There were, on an average each month, 112,610 regular pioneers and temporary pioneers who spent about 100 hours a month in the declaration of the Kingdom good news. These, too, are associated with the congregations and are constantly talking to people about the Kingdom that Christians have been taught to pray for, namely: “Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth.” (Matt. 6:9, 10) To share in the blessings of God’s kingdom people must act. The Bible urges: “Get out of her [Babylon the Great] . . . if you do not want to share with her in her sins, and if you do not want to receive part of her plagues.” (Rev. 18:4) So today hundreds of thousands, yes, millions of people have fled and are now fleeing from the world empire of false religion, Babylon the Great, and are saying to Jehovah, “You are my refuge and my stronghold.”—Ps. 91:2.
This was evident at the celebration of the Memorial of Christ’s death, on April 7, 1974, by Jehovah’s Christian witnesses. World wide there were 4,550,457 in attendance. Of these, 10,723 partook of the emblems, declaring that they have been anointed by holy spirit to be joint heirs with Christ Jesus.
The members of the Bethel family in all its branches are very pleased that they can print Bibles, books, booklets, magazines and tracts that assist the millions of evangelizers in the field. To this end, at the various printeries they turned out 51,663,097 Bibles and other bound books and 18,239,169 booklets, all to be used in Bible education work. In addition, 471,111,629 magazines were printed.
All branch overseers in their year’s report made a special request to have warm love and very good wishes sent to all their fellow workers throughout the world. This request is made on behalf of all of Jehovah’s Christian witnesses in each country so that all of Jehovah’s people in the other countries of the world will know of their love for them. All of us believe in the one true God, Jehovah, and we worship and love him. We are very grateful to his only-begotten Son, Christ Jesus, who set such a fine example of integrity. Together we are interested in declaring the good news of God’s kingdom. That is our joy. We are anxious, but patient, to see this old system of things come to its end and God’s righteous Messianic kingdom to rule without interference for the blessing of all mankind.
We happily look forward to 1975 and its grand work, and the prospect of gathering together still more of those who love Jehovah and who are sighing and crying because of the abominations that exist in all the land.
As we remain in Jehovah’s spiritual paradise, working with him, it will be a joy for all of us to continue reading this book day by day, feasting on the texts and comments provided. This will be strengthening to us, as we walk in the footsteps of Christ Jesus. Be courageous! Show faith! And together let us “brace up our minds for activity” and move ahead in the grand service of Jehovah, the only true God.—1 Pet. 1:13.
Be assured of my warm love and best wishes, and may Jehovah’s rich blessing be upon all of you as we move forward in unity!
Your brother and fellow servant,
N. H. Knorr, President
Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania